Arlington, VA

Applying to college is a scary but exciting process. Picking out schools, writing a personal statement and stacking up all of your best accomplishments.

But there was only one experience that I was never able to put into simple words, and that was the 11 years that I spent in immersion classes.

Arlington County is home to four Spanish immersion programs, at Claremont and Francis Scott Key elementary schools, Gunston Middle School and Wakefield High School.

Arlington Public Schools says the goal of the programs is to develop “high levels” of proficiency and literacy in two languages, promote high academic achievement and cross cultural competence.

I started second grade at Claremont Immersion School in 2003. It was the first year the school opened and students came from the immersion programs at Abingdon Elementary and my former school, Oakridge. I spent half my first day reciting the multiplication tables in Spanish, the other half in English.

It was not always easy, I struggled with both science and math as I got older and the content got more complicated. I stuck with it, although it was common for classmates to leave the school so they could thrive in a traditional setting.

Language skills improve even more in middle school, when there are 11 hours of Spanish instruction a week. Because subjects switch throughout the day, there’s a possibility to go back and forth from English to Spanish. It’s a brain workout to go back and forth between the two every 45 minutes. Unlike the elective Spanish classes offered in middle school, the Spanish Language Arts class that immersion students take is structured much like an English class.

High school is the true test. Some students struggle with AP level Spanish, as you don’t practice the language the way you do in middle school. With block scheduling, you may only get one day of Spanish instruction.

Continuing to practice Spanish every day is a valuable commitment. Many of my friends are double majoring or minoring in the language. They have traveled to Spain, Cuba and Costa Rica to practice the language.

“I’ve gotten to travel the world with confidence in my ability to speak the language,” said Peyton Johnson, a senior at James Madison University double majoring in Communications and Spanish.

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National nonprofit For The Love Of Others and the local chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity are hosting a free lunch for those in need this Saturday at Gunston Middle School (2700 S. Lang Street).

The goal of the event is to give out 650 meals between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in an effort to help those who struggle with food insecurity. No reservations are required.

For The Love Of Others provides food drives across the country, and participates in other giving events to “empower, enrich and enhance the lives of people from all backgrounds through providing opportunities to enable them to live a purposeful life.”

Alpha Phi Alpha, the first black intercollegiate fraternity in the country, partners with organizations that are in keeping with the fraternity’s motto of “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All” — promoting brotherhood while providing service in the community.

“The fraternity stands on the motto of manly deeds, scholarship and love for all mankind,” said David M. Preston, a local fraternity member who is helping with the event. “We wanted to partner with an organization that has the vision and the goal of service to the community that is when we partnered with For The Love Of Others.”

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The fourth annual Kennan Garvey Memorial Ride will take place this Saturday, August 5, starting from local nonprofit Phoenix Bikes in Barcroft Park )4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive).

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey helps lead the event, alongside Phoenix Bikes. The ride is in honor of Garvey’s late husband, Kennan, who died of a heart attack in 2008.

He was a supporter of Phoenix Bikes, a nonprofit that aims to educate the community about biking and help make it more affordable. Libby Garvey has served on the organization’s board of directors since 2009.

The race will raise money for the Kennan Garvey Memorial Fund, which will help Phoenix Bikes move to a more permanent site. The organization is set to transition to a new facility on the first floor of the Arlington Mill Community Center later this year.

The ride is open to all ages and experience levels with five different trail routes:

  • 15-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Bikenetic (Falls Church)
  • 40-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Green Lizard Cycling (Herndon)
  • 60-mile course:  out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Spokes, etc. (Leesburg)
  • 90-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Bicycles & Coffee (Purcellville)
  • 100-mile course: out and back along W&OD Trail from Phoenix Bikes to Bicycles & Coffee (Purcellville), plus portions of Arlington Loop (Custis, Mount Vernon and Four Mile Run Trails)

“You can ride for as little or as far as you like on a great bike path that Kennan and I loved and rode often. Despite the heat now, it has been fairly cool for the ride for the past three years,” Garvey wrote in an email to constituents.

The entry fee is $25, with a minimum fundraising amount of $100. Each rider is encouraged to set a $500 fundraising goal, while children that are registered with Phoenix Bikes get a complimentary entry.

Pre-registered riders will receive a boxed lunch, and all riders and volunteers will receive a free shirt. All those who meet or exceed the $500 fundraising goal will receive a prize.

Courtesy photo

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The Arlington County Fair will kick off on Wednesday, August 16 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road).

For the 41st year, the county will host a variety of events for the community, including live outdoor music, a parade, fairground rides and game, food, floral and craft competitions, pig races and more.

This year’s exhibit theme is “Let’s Play,” which organizers said celebrates the “child-like joy and fun that the Arlington County Fair brings out in all of us.”

The fair’s outdoor programming begins August 16, with indoor programming beginning on Friday, August 18. The event ends August 20, with outdoor activities concluding at 10 p.m. that day. More details about the indoor offerings will be available closer to the time.

The fair’s full opening hours are as follows:

The Kids’ Court, which has various activities including a moon bounce and face painting, will be open during the following hours:

  • Friday 2-6 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Competitive exhibits for participants to show off their abilities and compete for prizes include:

  • Honey, Beeswax and Food Preservation
  • Decorated Food Products and Baked Goods
  • Art Needlework
  • Crafts and Fine Arts
  • Photography
  • Herbs, Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables
  • Flowers, Arrangements and Potted Plants

Local organizations and business can sign up to participate in the fair’s parade, which is scheduled to start at the Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) on August 19 at 10 a.m. It will travel from the Career Center and end at the fairgrounds.

There is no on-site parking at the fair, and street parking is limited to residents with permits. There are several other transportation options, including shuttle buses from the Ballston and Pentagon City Metro stations, the Career Center and the I-66 parking garage at N. Quincy Street and 15th Street N.

The fair’s live outdoor music schedule is below, after the jump.

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The Arlington County Police Department will hold National Night Out activities in neighborhoods across the county this evening (August 1).

Police will take part in a number of activities with local residents, including block parties, cookouts, safety demonstrations, youth events, visits from emergency personnel and more.

National Night Out aims to better relationships between the police and the communities they patrol. Many police departments around the country participate.

“We are committed to building strong partnerships with those we protect and serve and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust.” said spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

“Events such as National Night Out are important because they provide us with another opportunity to interact with our community, hear about any public safety concerns they have and continue to use effective problem-solving methods to reduce and prevent crime and improve the quality of life of Arlington’s residents, visitors and businesses.”

Events will be hosted at the following locations:

  • Arlington Forest (200 block of N. Galveston Street) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (First Presbyterian Church, 601 N. Vermont Street) from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Barcroft Community House (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Cathcart Springs townhomes (4600 4th Road N.) from 6:30-7 p.m.
  • Fairlington Villages (3000 block of S. Abingdon Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Park Glen Condo Association (800 block of S. Arlington Mill Road) from 7-8 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. between Shirlington Road and S. Kenmore Street) from 6-8:30 p.m.
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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Wednesday

National Coloring Book Day
Westover Branch Library (1644 N. McKinley Road, Suite 3)
Time: 10 a.m.-8:45 p.m.

People of all ages are invited to take a moment to celebrate National Coloring Book Day, an event aimed at adults as well as children, by relaxing and coloring. Coloring pages, colored pencils and crayons will be supplied.

Sushi-Zen Fundraiser for OAR
Sushi-Zen (2457 N. Harrison Street)
Time: 5-9:30 p.m.

Sushi-Zen celebrates its 20th anniversary by partnering with 20 charities, including Offender Aid and Restoration. Twenty percent 0f dinner proceeds at Sushi-Zen will be donated to OAR, with supporters asked to show the event flyer to their server.

Thursday

Columbia Pike Movie Nights at Arlington Mill – “Big”
Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 8:30-10:30 p.m.

The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization will host a free screening of “Big” as a part of the CPRO’s “30 Years: Celebrating the Great Movies of 1987 (ish)” series, which screens films from 80s once or twice weekly.

Friday

TED Talk Screenings at The Connection Library
Connection: Crystal City Library (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 3-4 p.m.

The Crystal City Connection Pop Up Library will host a TED Talk screening and conversation. Talks run for less than 20 minutes and cover subjects like health care, dating, race and the environment among others. The event is for ages 13 and up.

Saturday

Journey Through the Northwest Passage *
Cherrydale Library (2190 Military Road)
Time: 2-4 p.m.

Robin S. Kent opens a photography exhibit from his travels through the Arctic Ocean near the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The opening reception lasts from 2-4 p.m. and an artist talk is scheduled from 2:30-3 p.m.

Sunday

Sunday Funday at Key Bridge Terrace
Hyatt Centric Arlington Key Bridge Terrace (1325 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 12-5 p.m.

An outdoor event featuring 10 options of $4 Flying Dog draft beers, $5 personalized mimosas and brunch food. Each draft beer purchase includes a chance to win two tickets to the Flying Dog Brewery Summer Sessions Outdoor Concert Series.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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(Updated 11 a.m.) Wakefield High School students Anna Tiernan and Kate Williams won the Alex and Ani Friendship of the Year Award at the 28th Annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference in Indiana earlier this month.

Tiernan and Williams were nominated by the program’s Capitol Region director and campaigned heavily for the competition. The duo earned votes from across the country for their efforts and were announced as winners live at the conference, which took place July 21-24 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization that aims to create opportunities that for “one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

The pair’s nomination explained why they were well-suited for the award:

Anna’s and Kate’s friendship is truly genuine and exemplary of the Best Buddies mission; they are true equals and friends. They support each other’s interests – from Anna’s love of music to Kate’s involvement in school plays. They were highlighted on the local news as they prepared for their Prom together. They are always the first to start a party and the last to leave; from sporting events, karaoke outings, dance parties, and more, it is clear these two friends love to have fun and love each other!

Tiernan and Williams live a few houses away from each other, and have been able to develop a friendship with movie nights while also helping build the Best Buddies organization in their community. The pair were featured on Fox 5 last month when they were promoting the annual Best Buddies Prom.

Williams, who is the president of the Wakefield chapter, said she can see the impact of the Best Buddies program in the school.

“I think there are a lot more kids that recognize the students in the special needs classes,” said Williams.

Tiernan, who graduated from Wakefield this past June, says she enjoys her unique friendship with Williams. She said she is also looking forward to the organization’s Friendship Walk on October 21, hosted by local radio host Tommy McFly.

“I just want to be in a video with him,” said Tiernan, who said the walk is one of her favorite Best Buddies events.

Best Buddies partnered with jewelry company Alex and Ani, the sponsor of the awards, in 2015. Last year, Best Buddies was one of two charities that benefited from the sales of the Liberty Copper Carry Light line, and currently benefits a portion of the proceeds from the Arrows of Friendship Charm Bangle.

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A new Roti Modern Mediterranean opened in Pentagon City today.

Roti is located on the ground floor of the Met Arcadia apartment building, between a Starbucks and an Orangetheory Fitness. It opened at 11 a.m. today (Friday), and will be open 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays.

Staff marked the occasion with balloons and various other decorations, and before 11 a.m. were doing final cleaning tasks ahead of opening the doors.

The fast casual restaurant serves wraps, rite plates and salads, with a variety of protein, topping and sauce options. It focuses on “Food That Loves You Back,” touting high-quality, healthy ingredients. It also offers an option to “try a little of everything,” allowing diners to pick as many sides as they want.

The restaurant is headquartered in Chicago and has other locations around the country, including in Rosslyn (1501 Wilson Blvd), its only other in Arlington.

More from Roti’s press release:

Rōti Modern Mediterranean is excited to announce the opening its newest location in the DC area, in Pentagon City, which opens today. This past January, Roti updated their menu to include a “try a little of everything” approach to entrees, giving customers the option to add as many sides and toppings as they’d like. This past Spring, Spicy Lamb Meatballs were added to the menu at all locations. Packed with flavor and spice, the meatballs are prepared using red quinoa, Sriracha sauce, mint, parsley, red chili, and other spices. This new offering is gluten-free and a great source of protein.

To reinforce their mission of Food That Loves You Back, Roti’s space includes enhanced food presentation, new interior design features, and a hand drawn food story mural scaling the length of the dining room. There is also additional communal seating to accommodate larger lunch and dinner groups.

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Registration is open for the 16th annual Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K, a race organized by the county’s first responders.

The race this year is taking place on Saturday, September 9. Registration is $40 and is open to teams and individuals.

The 5K was founded by three Arlington police officers: retired Capt. Matt Smith, Detective Dan Borriello and Sgt. Sean Bryson. All of the officers worked as first responders at the Pentagon after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

After the attacks, the group was inspired by other police 5Ks that they had participated in and decided to start their own race.

“We started with mailing applications and sending letters to the police and fire chiefs,” said Bryson. “We really got a following.”

The race is scheduled to kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree hotel (300 Army Navy Drive) in Pentagon City. The race route follows Army Navy Drive, S. Joyce Street, Washington Blvd, looping around the Pentagon on Route 110 before returning to the DoubleTree, where there’s an after party featuring food and drink.

Proceeds from the race are donated to three organizations that support law enforcement: the Pentagon Memorial FundProject Enduring Pride and the National Police Suicide Foundation. The goal is to raise $1 million over the course of 20 races. So far, the 5K has raised $650,000 in its first 15.

“This is a moment to reflect and a moment to be together. That we never forgot what happened,” said Bryson.

Registration is open through race day. All registered runners will receive a long sleeve commemorative race shirt.

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Arlington’s police, fire and sheriff’s departments are gearing up for their third annual block party, hosted this year on Saturday, August 26 at Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road).

The free block party is an effort the connect the community with police officers. One of the highlights of the event will be “Behind the Badge,” an activity that will give attendees the chance to simulate real-world police scenarios.

It includes brief training on police tactics and will allow participants to play the role of a police officer in two scenarios.

The event will also offer free vehicle VIN etching, demonstrations from police K-9s and motorcycle officers, a distracted driving course, free food and drink and more.

“It’s an opportunity for public safety to give back to our community and also for the community to enjoy entertainment while getting to know the men and women who serve and protect Arlington County,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

To get the word out about the block party, the department is creating promotional videos that show another side of Arlington’s men and women in blue. An anonymous tipster spotted the filming of one such video in progress last week.

“Yesterday, I saw five or six ACPD officers filming some kind of video in the large swimming pool at the Dorchester Towers apartment complex off of Columbia Pike,” said the tipster. “Someone was filming the officers in what looked like full uniform — doing things like cannonballing into the pool and doing synchronized swimming routines!”

Savage said ACPD is filming “some creative videos” for the block party, and that those videos will be released closer to the event. She shared one still image from the filming, above.

Photo via Arlington County Police Department

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Another scammer who claims to be serving an arrest warrant for a supposed jury duty mix-up is targeting Arlington residents.

A reader said a man claiming to be a Sgt. Jimmy Jackson with the Arlington County Police Department called her saying there was a warrant out for her arrest due to the mix-up. Police reported a similar scam earlier this year.

Unlike previous scams, the reader said the caller did not ask for money right away, but instead stated that they had to schedule an in-person affidavit. He said the money paid for reserving a time block would be refunded at a future court appearance.

Although the scammer name drops Arlington General District Court clerk Steven Robert Spurr and Chief Judge William T. Newman from Arlington Circuit Court, police said the badge number he cites — No. 3319 — is fake. County courts also always send any information for jury duty by mail or email.

Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said no badge number begins with the digits 33, and that police will never ask for money over the phone. Savage also encouraged any victims of fraud to report it at the county’s online reporting system.

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